Jo Coburn talks to Miatta Fahnbulleh about how Brexit will affect prices, and discusses the poisoning of a former Russian intelligence officer with Sir Malcolm Rifkind.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
As the ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal
remains in a critical
condition in hospital,
the Home Secretary Amber Rudd
promises the government will be
robust in its repsonse.
But just what can Britain do
if Russian involvement is proved?
We'll get the thoughts
of a former foreign secretary.
Depending on where you live
in the country your life expectancy
could vary by as much as 20 years,
so what can be done
to fix the problem?
With the Saudi Crown
Prince continuing his
visit to the UK, we'll
look at Labour's claims
that the government is colluding
with the Kingdom over
alleged war crimes.
Should wolf-whistling be
considered a hate crime?
We'll speak to the MP
who wants to get tough
on what she calls acts of misogyny.
All that in the next hour
and with us for the whole
of the programme today
is Miatta Fahnbulleh,
who's Chief Executive
of the New Economics Foundation.
First this morning Labour
is promising to get tough
on employers who don't
close their gender pay gap.
The party says if they get
into power all companies with over
250 employees will face an audit
on salaries and if they can't show
they're taking action to close
the gap they may get fined.
Do you support this?
Yes, if you did
it in context, there's clearly a
problem with the gender pay gap. We
have seen progress but it's been
incredibly painfully slow at the
current rate, women will not have
pay parity with men until the 2050s.
We need to act and there are a lot
of conjugated issues underneath it
but the minimum we should expect is
companies should audit this and be
transparent about it. There is
something that Labour have planned
that you have an expectation that
you do not just find out what will
pay gap is, but you take action to
solve it because that is what will
change company behaviour.
think that violence will persuade
companies to change their behaviour?
It depends -- do you think that a
We have seen that there is a
penalty for not acting, that it does
shift behaviour but it needs to be
part of a wider package.
yourself has said its conjugated,
and police have said -- it is
complicated. Companies have said
that it is a legacy thing, but if
you want change quicker, do you
insist that women are paid more or
men are paid less?
I would argue for
women to be paid more. There are
lots of issues, part of the problem
is that we do not see women in top
jobs. Getting more equality around
top executive jobs is something that
companies can push in recruitment
and progression policies. Part of it
is we still have the case where
women are doing the same job as men
but not being paid the same amount
which is illegal.
So how is it that
people are able to get away with it?
Because you can always justify it by
certain reasons, some of it is
legacy, some of it is endemic but
it's putting a spotlight on the
issue. And requiring companies to
act as part of that. Some of it is
to do with family friendly policies
and the fact that still in our
workplaces, women who have children
are penalised. There are a whole
package of issues but at the start,
you have to recognise there is a
problem and you have got to be
willing to take action. That's what
these sorts of policies might do.
Amber Rudd has just updated
the Commons on the latest
in the poisoning of ex-Russian spy
Sergei Skripal and his
daughter in Salisbury.
Here's a flavour of
what she had to say.
We are committed to doing all we can
to bring the perpetrators to
Whoever they are and wherever they
may be. The investigation is moving
at pace and this government will act
without hesitation as the facts
become clearer. As my right
honourable friend the Foreign
Secretary made clear on Tuesday, we
will respond in a robust and
appropriate manner once we ascertain
who was responsible.
Let's get the latest on this
with our Home Affairs
Correspondent Leila Nathoo,
who's in Salisbury.
We now know that a nerve agent was
used. How strong lead is that
determining where the nerve agent
came from and who used it?
We are no
closer to understanding those
particular questions, all we know is
that police have released that it
was a nerve agent, not what it was
specifically. We understand it was a
rare kind of nerve agent, the use of
nerve agents in itself is not
common. There is a narrow pool when
it comes to whether could have come
from, the substance. Police do know
the exact substance that was used in
this incident but they do not,
they're not yet releasing that to
us. In the meantime they're trying
to understand whether it was
possibly ingested by surrogate
script and his daughter Yulia, -- by
we know that they were having a meal
in a pizza restaurant, there is a
window where they could have been
exposed to the substance and police
are trying to piece together that
timeline. How was this substance
carried into the city centre or the
country, and who brought it in.
country, and who brought it in.
policeman who was first on the scene
and was also taken ill is now able
to talk, tell a state that he is in
at the moment.
His condition is
described as serious but stable. He
is now conscious. We understand he
was one of the first people to come
to the scene. We don't know exactly
what sort of contact he had with
Sergei Skripal and Yulia or this
substance but the Home Secretary
said it was highly unlikely he was
exposed to the same substance. He is
now conscious and talking. We're
hoping to hear more about his
condition later today. We know
condition later today. We know that
Sergei and Yulia's edition is
described as critical but stable.
Joining me now is the former
foriegn secretary Malcolm
Rifkind and Bill Browder, who calls
himself "Putin's No 1 enemy".
He tried to expose
His lawyer Sergei Magnitsky
was killed in a Russian
prison by the Kremlin.
Welcome to most of you. -- to both
of you. Do you think the response
from the British government has been
correct in terms of time and
Yes, because you cannot
reach conclusions until the basic
investigation has been completed,
until we are certain what the nerve
agent was and whether it can be
traced to a Russian origin.
not stopped politicians on both
sides saying that the government's
response in general in its dealing
with Russia has been weak in the
past, particularly post the
Litvinenko assess the nation.
think they are always tried to open
a dialogue and keep it open, because
of things like terrorism and policy,
if it is established that it was of
Russian origin and the Kremlin was
the explanation, the consequences
would have to be severe.
be cutting off diplomatic ties?
have to consider because following
the Litvinenko affair, if it was
established to our satisfaction that
Putin was directly or in narrative
is possible like this, in effect he
is -- indirectly responsible for
this, in effect he is behaving like
a rogue state and it is not possible
to conduct normal government
What is your knowledge on
I have learned that it is a
criminal enterprise, Russia, not a
country as we know it. Vladimir
Putin is one of the richest men in
the world, he has that money through
extortion and craft and theft on his
country. He keeps the money all over
the world. His main objective is to
stay in power and keep his money
safe in the West. In this instance,
the major theory I have about what
would be his motivation for going
after this man here is not so much
Mr Skripal's personal situation, but
he has a whole range of secret
policemen and intelligence officers
who he has to keep motivated. They
are running out of money in Russia
because of their economy, oil prices
are down and they have a situation
where if they cannot motivate people
with money, they have to motivate
people with fear, and the best fear
it a go after one person and his
family and liquidate them in the
worst way possible.
Do you think the
British government should be more
robust in this stage before we know
who is responsible?
This is an act
of state-sponsored terrorism using
chemical weapons, we all try to
prove this but there is enough
circumstantial evidence that we
should act on it. Have they rounded
up Russian agents, other Russian
agents in the UK to interrogate them
under terrorism laws?
Is that what
you would be proposing at this
stage, Malcolm Rifkind? That
pressure should be put on the
Russian state, or a signal that this
is being taken seriously even before
we know what has happened?
none of these options by allowing
ourselves for the next few days to
enable the police and the scientists
give us the hard information on the
source of this attack, the methods
used and where the evidence might
point to a Russian connection.
Nothing will be unavailable in a few
days' time that is available today.
That's not true when you have a
crime, all of the evidence of the
crime starts to disappear as time
goes on. If you act on it
immediately, it took them four days
to take this thing seriously. On the
first day, no one even knew what was
It was slightly less than
four days, it happened on Sunday.
Monday, there was a fight between
the Wiltshire Police and the
Metropolitan Police, it was only
last night that this whole thing got
May I say, I stand to know
one with my respect for what he has
done, he is a fantastic guy, but I
have to differ from him in this
matter. Any criminal investigation
however serious, from 9/11 onwards,
the Americans didn't within 24 hours
start taking action and invading
Afghanistan. They waited a few days
until it became abundantly clear of
the responsible of the, there is no
evidence being lost simply because
we do not punish Russia today on the
basis of what we suspect. At this
stage we have not got as much hard
truth is we are likely to have.
you think the evidence is pointing
that way, the finger of suspicion is
pointing at the Russian State?
Edward Leigh, the Tory MP, has said
it's a brazen act of war and peace
through strength is the only way we
can deal with Russia.
These are fine
words but they don't add up. What
seems the most likely explanation,
here is a former Russian
intelligence officer who spied for
the United Kingdom, living in
Britain, he may lose his life as a
result of this attack. Where else is
the responsibility to live? It could
be Putin, in theory it could be
rogue elements in the Russian
intelligence services operating with
the Russian criminal elements in
London. Putin himself might be
behind that but we do not know.
Hopefully we will note a lot more of
this investigation proceeds.
will we know a lot more? It will be
very difficult to trace exactly
whether or not Putin was behind it.
You don't need 100% evidence. What
you do need is the phrase we would
normally use in our own courts,
beyond reasonable doubt. If we are
satisfied beyond reasonable doubt
that Putin either directly or
indirectly is responsible, that is
when the United Kingdom has to
contemplate as much punishment as it
can impose. We're not a superpower,
there's limits to what we can
achieve but I bring up against the
bastion, diplomatic relations are
what you have with countries where
you can have a meaningful dialogue.
If we cannot have that with Russia
for the time being, then for the
time being, we have to seriously
consider whether their embassy
should just be locked up, closed
down and they can depart for a
period of time.
People might say,
that's not very much.
It's a hell of
What does could be done in
terms of financial sanctions to put
pressure on the state?
We have huge
leveraged in this situation because
all Russians, Russian government
officials and connected oligarchs,
have huge quantities in London. We
have laws in place, named after my
murdered lawyer, in which we can
seize those assets. We should seize
those assets and seizing those
assets would have a dramatic effect
because after Litvinenko, we
effectively did nothing, we kicked
out a few diplomats and we all came
together. That is not going to
prevent them from doing this kind of
thing. What will is if their assets
We already have new
laws, that if people have a level of
wealth in this country that they
cannot explain having got
legitimately, we can get their
As it happened to anyone?
The courts are in the process are
giving to the first cases.
We operate a rule of
law system, and if there is evidence
to justify individuals, whether
Russian oligarchs or from the
Ukraine or other countries who are
acting illegally or supporting
illegal action, what Bill says
should happen should happen.
made it to the -- too comfortable
for people like that to come to
London, I feel it is easy for them
to come here and educate their
children, there is no real pressure.
This isn't just about Russians or
Ukrainians, even when I was Foreign
Secretary in the 1990s, many
countries said, you have so many of
our dissidents living in London, why
do you allow this? The reality is
that if we have people who behave
under the law in this country, we do
not hold their political background
If it is shown, that
Vladimir Putin the Russian state had
some involvement in this and is
prepared to do what has happened, to
Mr Skripal and his daughter, does
that show that he is becoming even
bolder, Vladimir Putin, and more
brazen than in the past?
He has been
completed brazen. Let's look at
other things that happened. Date
shot down a play -- they shot down
at plane and 287 innocent people
died, they cheated in the political,
they tried to cheat the US election,
Putin has been over the line for a
long time but we continue in a most
subservient way to not do anything
about it and we have leverage to do
something. They do their crimes in
Russia and Nicky their property in
the West. And they care about their
-- they keep their
property. Do you think it was a weak
response, following Litvinenko?
don't. I think all the steps that
were taken, I know from my own
recollection, it led to a deep
rupture with Russia. I hear what he
says, and I wish I could believe
that simply confiscating a few
buildings and a few assets in London
would all change Russian foreign
policy. Ill things to think it will
do and he may be right, I can't say
wrong certainly, but I don't think
Putin would be creating -- quaking
in the Kremlin because he loses a
It won't necessarily
We know he cares
about money more than human life and
we also know in the case of these
assets sanctions, he cares about it
fro profoundly. -- very profoundly.
The law I got past in Africa, -- in
America, he sent his own emissary to
Trump Tower to get it repealed as
his one asked of Donald Trump before
he was elected. So I would not
underestimate the power of going
after his property. Certainly all
beta dramatic tools, cutting off a
shrug with these diplomatic tools,
cutting off relations, they don't
work. What does work is going after
their personal financial interest.
How scared are you?
I live in a
state where they have been after me,
they threatened me with death,
kidnapping, arrest and extradition.
I'm probably the number one target.
So not in a very good position
personally? Malcolm Rifkind, when
you say we could lock the door and
close the embassies, beyond that,
what would the robust response look
It could be a combination of
what Bill has said, plus the
diplomatic action and other remedies
available. But to let's not kid
ourselves, a country the size and as
powerful as Russia, there is no
single act or combination of acts
that can quite literally force them
to change their policy. That is not
the real world, any more than you
could do that with the USA or China
or other countries of that size and
power. What we have to do is to be
rational. We have Diousse believers
we have, including the ones Bill
mentioned, but at the end of the
day, if Putin judges that his own
priorities still make sense to
behave in such a disgraceful way, it
is bad news for the world as a whole
but Britain by itself cannot make a
fundamental change in Russia. It
would require a concerted
international response, including
the United States and many other
countries all been prepared to act
In the meantime, you are in
fear of your life?
I don't live in
fear but they are after me, for
OK, what would you suggest,
looking at this from the outside,
that is really going to do anything
to exert pressure on the Russian
I think we have two establish
the facts first and if there is a
link, the question is would you do.
I think the room for manoeuvre is
quite limited for the UK Government
acting unilaterally. I think there
is something about property because
actually, Russian money coming into
the property market has been
massively distorting. It won't only
benefit us in terms of foreign
policy but I think it will benefit
the property market domestically.
The big thing is, will it have any
impact? I fear it won't because in
the end, multilateral action, across
the EU, ironically, would be the
only thing to put us in a position
where we could bite and the Russian
government might change its
behaviour but I worry Britain acting
on its own, even if it is a
combination, a package of things, in
the end, would fundamentally change
the behaviour of the Russian state.
Thank you for joining us.
It seems where you live can
have a dramatic influence
on your life expectancy.
Latest figures released
by the Office of National Statistics
show the variation across England
and Wales can be up to 20 years.
Denbighshire in Wales has
one of the lowest life
expectancies for men and women.
expectancies for men and women.
The ward of Rhyl West has
an expectancy of 74.5 half years
for women and just over 68 for men.
Bloomfield in Blackpool
is the lowest in the country
at 68.2 years for men.
Contrast that with
the highest figures.
Men in Knightsbridge and Belgravia
in Westminster can expect
to live to just over 89.
Women in Dullingham Village
in East Cambridgeshire to 97.
Joining me in the studio
is the Labour MP Chris Ruane
who represents Rhyl West,
which has one of the lowest
life expectancy rates,
and from Parliament's central lobby
is the Conservative MP Vicky Ford.
Welcome to the programme. What do
you make of the disparity between
the highest and lowest parts of
England and Wales in terms of life
Clearly there is an
issue and we do need to address that
difference in life expectancy in
different communities but it is
because of a number of different
factors. There's obviously health
issues which are a number of complex
issues which the government is
already working on. As well as
income differentials and the good
news is that actually, income
inequality is much lower now than it
was under the past Labour
government, for example. So the
health inequality issues, it's about
addressing things like childhood
obesity and diabetes and cancer
survival and those are all issues
the government is taking action on.
But it should have taken action by
now, 20 years is a massive
difference between parts of England
and Wales with the lowest and
highest life expectancy rates and it
is a Conservative government that
has been in charge of the things you
have talked about since 2010.
issues take time to address because
obviously, what happens at the end
of life is affected by what happened
when one was a child and growing up.
As I said, if the -- issues like
health differentials, tackling
smoking and childhood obesity, those
are all issues which the government
has focused on and is delivering
results on and as I said, the income
inequality is a key issue. Why is
income equality -- income inequality
getting better? Because the
government has managed to help more
people back into work, 3 million
more jobs, 880,000 fewer families
without work. We are putting people
in real jobs with more money in
their pockets which helps healthier
Right, welcome to the daily
politics, Chris, as we have seen
from your constituency, which
includes the ward of Will West which
has one of the lowest life
expectancy for men and women, why?
It is funny that the two areas you
have highlighted, two seaside towns,
Rhyl in Wales and Blackpool in
England. What we have seen in
England is because of the benefits
cap, the bedroom tax, Universal
Credit, people as Boris Johnson
said, has been socially cleansed
from the areas they lived in in the
cities and many of them have fled to
coastal towns and you have seen a
concentration in specific wards of
coastal towns which have brought the
life expectancy down for those
towns. If I can just say, you've hit
on two or three constituencies here
but there is a wider picture across
the UK. The Parliamentary question
asked some six weeks ago, the answer
was given to me last night and it's
been placed in the House of Commons
library today which is very
prescient because it is
International Women's Day, and the
figures for England are that 22% of
women aged 65 had seen a decline in
their life expectancy since 2010.
Since 1840, life expectancy has got
up. 2010, it has stopped.
shocking, isn't it?
is increasing across the country.
will take the figure Chris has just
used about winning over 65.
in 20% of the local
authority areas in England, have
witnessed a decline in life
Since 2010 when the
Conservatives came into coalition
government, the first time there has
been a decline like that?
As I said,
one of the key issues we have been
focusing on is improving the
inequalities, narrowing the gap.
There's actually been a 33%
improvement on the ratio of
inequalities, income inequalities,
so that is really important.
keep on talking about income
inequality, but even if income
inequality, as you have stated, has
been reduced, why are these
differences so marked in areas that
are deprived? It can't be rocket
science to work out that funnily
enough, the low life expectancy
rates are at their highest in areas
that are most deprived across
England and Wales.
The key thing we
have been doing, and it takes time
to feed through, is help more people
into jobs, make sure that they keep
more of their pay, in order to have
healthier lifestyles, and back that
up with actions on areas like
diabetes, childhood obesity,
smoking, which it life expectancy.
Those have all been the priorities
of the government.
Do you agree, is
income and having a job clearly
important in terms of being in work
and earning money, but what do you
take away from these figures on my
The figures are
staggering, the fact they are going
backwards I think using readily
In certain areas.
it's indicative of a bigger problem
which is that for many people, the
economy is not working, we've had a
decade of wage stagnation and more
to come. Many people have seen
squeezing their living standards. We
are seeing huge inequality across
the country where a lot of the
recovery we have seen since the
financial crisis has been in London
and the south-east and other parts
of the country have not benefited.
There are deep structural problems.
The figures you are seeing on my fix
pectin Zig, health and life
expectancy, are indicative of the
fact that for big chunks of the
population, they are just struggling
to get on and struggling to feed
their kids and it is filtering
through into the figures.
what about the lifestyle choices?
Smoking, drinking, diet, all of
these are also indicators, clearly,
of a shortening life.
why is it happening in certain
nations and regions in the UK and
not in others? Look at the
statistics. In Wales and Northern
Ireland, only 18% of local
authorities witnessed... In
Scotland, it is 6%. In the
north-east, 27%. These are huge
disparities and I think evolution is
working. Where control is nearer the
people, you are seeing better
outcomes and when you have kinder
governments, not right-wing, nasty
governments who have promised
another ten years austerity having
given us eight years at it and now
the chickens are coming home to
roost and we have seen in the
statistics that people are dying
early, mainly women, on
International Women's Day, it is
mainly women dying early because of
No, it is absolutely about
looking at the issues that affect
health and life expectancy and it is
International Women's Day and that
is why one of the things we are
championing is a number of actions
to help women's health, things like
actions on cervical cancer, breast
cancer, the announcement a few days
ago about surgical mesh and other
issues that have affected women and
this as well as access to mental
health, all of which are priorities
of this government, led from the
very top by our Conservative woman
Prime Minister, who is focusing on
these issues that affect women's
What impact do you think
austerity has had, then, on poorer
parts of the communities across
England and Wales? There has been,
as you know, years of a squeeze,
rightly or wrongly, on health and
social security budget. Do you
accept that must have had an impact
on those communities where there are
more people on benefits than other
Actually, the health budget
in England have continued to rise,
continually, and more money is going
to those that need it. That is why
the government has focused on making
sure that people, especially on low
incomes, have got more money in
their pockets, with 3 million people
taken out of tax altogether, the
national minimum wage, 3 million
more jobs and as I said, 880,000
fewer families without work. That is
children better off because their
families are working.
I think the
difficulty is, you can reel off the
statistics but that is not what
people are feeling. People are
struggling, they are feeling worse
off, up and down the country. I
think the question about devolution
is interesting because the capacity
of our local government, our
community groups, to actually try to
solve some of these problems, I
think is massively constrained and
that is one of the areas where
actually, we can take action to give
them the power and resources to try
to act now. But the truth is, people
are struggling and they are not
feeling the benefits you are talking
about in the headline statistics.
That is not their expense.
would you do? Would increased wages
make a big difference?
wages is a big important part of
that but you have to think about how
we boost wages, in low-wage, low
skilled parts of the economy.
about a proper, active industrial
strategy but also about the power
balance in the labour market, so
making sure workers have more power
so they can have more secure jobs
but they can actually argue that
more for the benefits of the work
that they do go to them in wages
rather than shareholders.
we have to end it there. Thank you
for joining us.
The Conservatives and Labour now
have clear differences
in their policies on how we should
trade after Brexit,
with Jeremy Corbyn saying we should
have a customs union with the EU,
compared to Theresa May
who says we shouldn't.
But what does all this
mean for consumers?
Emma Vardy's been looking
at how Brexit could affect
our shopping bills.
The way we change our relationship
with the EU in the future
could affect us all here on High
The Conservatives and Labour have
two distinct visions of the type
of Brexit they want.
And prices could go up and down
depending on the type
of Brexit that we get.
Both Conservatives and Labour
want to have free trade
with the EU after Brexit.
But Conservatives want
to leave the customs union
and the single market.
Think of the EU's single market
and customs union like a great big
high street where we can buy
and sell stuff from EU
countries at no extra cost.
At the moment, goods are traded
between EU countries free of charge.
Jeremy Corbyn says we should stay
in a customs union with the EU
with the aim of keeping prices
on our shopping
pretty much the same.
But at the moment, if we want goods
imported from outside the EU,
then they are charged and we have
to pay extra tariffs.
Theresa May says we're
going to leave the European single
market and customs union so that
we're less constrained
by EU trade rules.
And so that we'll be free
to strike our own trade deals
with other countries.
The economists who are enthusiastic
about Brexit think that we can make
big savings by cutting tariffs
on goods that currently we have high
tariff levels, like textiles
and clothing, for example.
Most economists point to the fact
that there aren't actually all that
many goods where there are high
tariffs on imports from the rest
of the world, and most economists
think that having a bit more
friction on half of our trade,
which comes from the EU,
is going to be much more costly
than the benefits that we get
from cutting tariffs
on the rest of the world.
There is no perfect way
of forecasting what will happen
in any Brexit scenario.
Take dairy, for example.
Around a quarter of all our dairy
products are imported from the EU.
If we leave the customs union,
the price could go up.
But imports from the rest
of the world, like butter from
New Zealand, could become cheaper.
Likewise, our meat from the EU
could become a bit more expensive.
But we could benefit from cheap
imports from the rest of the world.
But experts don't always agree
when it comes to how
much prices may change.
You may well hear some politicians
say completely the opposite from one
another when it comes to how us
consumers may be affected.
And that's because prices
could change by a greater or lesser
degree depending on how
the logistical challenges
of leaving the EU play out.
Some of the effects of leaving
the customs union are fairly easy
and direct to predict.
If we cut tariffs on textiles
and clothing, then we can work out
how much textiles and clothing
we buy from the rest of the world
what the price reduction will be.
On other aspects, it's
harder to make estimates.
We know that there will be increased
friction on trade with the EU
but it's harder to predict
a definite number on how big
these frictions will be.
With clothing, a lot
of it is imported from non-EU
countries where tariffs are high.
So it could become
cheaper after Brexit.
But contrast that with things
like cosmetics and soaps.
We buy a lot of this from the EU
and it's heavily regulated
so leaving the customs union
could mean cosmetics
get more expensive.
But don't forget, shopping
for goods is only one part
of what we spent our money on.
Leaving the customs union and single
market could also affect things
like package holidays,
airfares and services like banking.
But predicting that is much harder
until we know what sort
of Brexit we end up with.
Watching that is Warwick Lightfoot
from the Policy Exchange think tank,
who served as a special advisor
to a number of
everyone is interested in the price
of things, and you could say that
since we had that referendum, before
we have even left the EU, things
have got more extensive.
because the exchange rate went down.
What is interesting about that is of
course we have got a period where
international commodity prices have
been very weak, down a third
compared to five years ago, have not
gone up very much in 18 months,
because we have got much more
intense competition in the retail
sector, the pass-through from the
lower exchange rate into higher
prices has been weaker than one
might have expected. If you think
back to 2010, 11, when commodity
prices went up, the exchange rate
was down, there was quite a strong
pass-through into shopping baskets.
It has been more muted this time.
Can you understand why consumers
might be thinking, yikes, inflation
is going up, imports is more
expensive and so is my shopping?
Actually not. I am old enough to
seem inflation in the 1970s and 80s.
What I am impressed by the public
and the press and the clinical
community have two steady motivation
of 2%, and how sticky prices --
steady low inflation of 2%, and how
sticky prices have been. If you get
a world where you are confident
there is not kind to be a sharp
take-off with inflation, that is a
good thing. That has nothing to do
with the EU and the single market.
We have some very interesting things
to talk about about the customs
union, farm prices and Texas are two
Who is right in terms of
whether we should be a customs union
I don't know who is right,
but for me, you have got to go back
to why many people voted to leave
the European Union which was
essentially because they were
frustrated with the state of the
economy, fed up with their living
standards being squeezed. Things
like the housing crisis, worried
about the prospects for their
children. When you come to these
very complex issues, like the
customs union, your test has to be
will it make it easier or harder to
test these issues, create jobs and
deal with living standards? If it
doesn't, then why would you do it?
If you take something like the
customs union for me, the idea that
we should be part of a customs union
with our biggest trading block feels
like a no-brainer, if your test is,
jobs, living standards and making
life better for people.
bring food prices down, for example,
in the way that some conservatives
say, a ball of mozzarella could cost
£1 50 now and it could cost 91 p, is
it worth it for that?
I think there
was a lot of issues that people
voted on, through immigration to big
sovereignty issues like control. The
political class dressed up the
argument around a con version of
economics. Coming down to who -- a
cod version of economics. Coming
down to who would benefit, come with
me back to 1971 when Ted Heath took
us in. In his white paper he spelt
out the fact that food prices would
rise by 2.5% for five years. That is
one pledge she kept, and the reason
was that the EU had high tariffs on
food to protect the common
agricultural policy. This is the
tariff schedule of the EU lodged
with the World Trade Organisation.
Its 12,400 tariffs. Frozen orange
That is the tariff?
Yes. Prepared macro, 23.3%.
much cheaper will it be if we were
out of the customs union?
if we were to go to world trade
prices, which is what we had in
1973, you could reduce food prices
by between six and 20%.
be worth it and would it be
It's not guaranteed,
it's a bit of speculation and hope.
In the end it's about the trade off.
You might or you might not get
marginally lower food prices, but
you will still have a negative
knock-on effect on other parts of
the economy and if you go back to
the point, you made the point that
people voted for a range of reasons.
That's absolutely right but there
were a chunk of people who voted for
the reason that I talked about and
no one voted to be worse off.
Irrespective or what their
motivation was. When you look at the
trade-offs against things like the
impact on business and jobs, you
have to ask yourself whether it is
On the trade-off, how
would you argue it the opposite way?
Are you actually saying that we
could be guaranteed lower food
prices, never prices on clothing,
and we can get things quite cheaply
at certain times at the moment, will
that be a big enough benefit to
leaving the customs union and
perhaps having to have trade more
expensive but the EU?
The future but
macro with the EU? The future
welfare of the UK economy will turn
on the policies we have. It will be
public stoning, taxation, monetary
policy and labour market modulation.
-- public spending. In terms of the
prices, if you reduce tariffs, you
can move to a one-off situation,
whatever the world pervading food
prices will be, you will have lower
prices. It's worth emphasising,
trade is about exposing your own
domestic competition to greater
competition and helping the
consumer. You hear from the lobbies,
you hear from the big businesses who
enjoy a protected food industry,
protected farming and you transfer
money into the hands of shareholders
and people who have got land worth
thousands and huge intelligence tax
on that. The shopper on the
supermarket on Saturday pays 20%
more for this stuff than they need
to. Textiles and cars, it goes all
the way through.
We have to leave it
And for more reporting
and analysis of Brexit,
check out the BBC News website.
You can continue your conversation
and other time!
The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman is continuing his visit
to the UK and will have a private
dinner with Theresa May
at Chequers this evening.
The government has been keen
to stress it has made trade deals
potentially worth billions
of pounds, but the visit
is not without criticism.
Yesterday at PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn
attacked the government for aiding
the Saudis' military
intervention in Yemen.
Germany has suspended arms sales
to Saudi Arabia but British arms
sales have sharply increased
and British military advisers
are directing the war.
It cannot be right
that her government...
Mr Speaker, it cannot be right
that her government is colluding
in what the United Nations says
is evidence of war crimes.
Joining me from Derby is the Labour
MP Chris Williamson.
We were hoping to speak
to Charlotte Leslie,
Director of the Conservative Middle
East Council, but she has been
delayed in a meeting.
We hope to speak to her
on the programme again
in the near future.
Chris Williamson is here. How is it
fair for Jeremy Corbyn to say that
Britain or British military advisers
are actually directing war in Yemen?
We know that the military advisers
are operating in Saudi controlled
areas, that's has been widely
reported. I think it's therefore a
reasonable point to make that
clearly Britain is implicated in
this war in Yemen.
They are up to their
elbows in Yemeni blood.
government says it is categorically
untrue. British military advisers
are not directing war in Yemen and
if that is the case, isn't it
responsible to say the opposite in
the House of Commons?
What are they
doing there? -- isn't it
irresponsible to say that? This
country is selling billions of
pounds of weapons to Saudi to do
this war in Yemen. There has been a
UN report which states that the
Saudi forces have been deliberately
targeting civilians populations
there. And causing a humanitarian
catastrophe. It seems to be that the
government is actually in breach of
the arms trade treaty it signed up
to 2014 with great fanfare about how
it was going to protect human rights
and create transparency in relation
to arms sales.
You are saying that
British military advisers are
conducting operations against Yemen
and they are involved in Saudi
decision-making in terms of the war
It's been widely reported
that there are British monetary
advisers assisting the Saudi forces
in the war in Yemen. I think the BBC
has even reported upon that. One
wonders what they're doing, if
they're not doing that, what are
they there for?
It's important to...
You have evidence that they are
doing military decisions? What do
you think they're doing there?
not making the accusations, what is
the evidence of their making
military decisions? You must have it
because you have made the
We know that there are
British military advisers operating
in Saudi controlled areas helping
them to identify targets. We know
from UN reports that many civilians
have been targeted by the missile
air strikes. And clearly, it seems
to be there is a correlation between
those two things. It's naive in the
extreme it seems to me to suggest
that the military advisers are not
engaged in assisting the Saudis in
these military operations. That's
what they're therefore, ridiculous
to suggest that they're not helping
to put this war.
I'm asking for the
evidence you have apart from reading
reports by the BBC and others. In
terms of the relationship that
Britain has with Saudi Arabia, do
you think that that religion ship
should be, should end, and stop?
Despite the fact the Prime Minister
said our security relationship is
important and has saved lives?
The involvement with the south-east
is subverting British democracy,
We know British MPs have
received fairly large payments from
Saudi entities and we also know that
it is a forceful huge
destabilisation in the region and
the exportation of the extremist
ideology is putting British citizens
at risk, let alone the humanitarian
catastrophe in Yemen, let alone the
human rights abuses in Saudi itself,
where people are being executed
publicly. We seem to have lost the
No, I can still hear you
loud and clear and our viewers can
as well so keep going.
We seem to
have lost the signal.
I'm sorry, we
seem to have lost the Labour MP
Chris Williamson and we will have to
try to resume that on another day.
Chris Williamson talking about Saudi
Arabia and Britain's Croatian ship
with the country. -- and Britain's
Should wolf whistling and catcalling
be classed as a hate crime?
Labour MP Melanie Onn used
a Westminster Hall debate to argue
sexist abuse would be taken more
seriously if it was.
We can speak to Melanie in a moment
but first take a look at an extract
from a film called 10
Hours Of Walking In New York City
As A Woman, which shows the unwanted
attention women can receive.
Melanie is with me now and I'm also
joined by the author
Dr Joanna Williams, who's
the education editor
at Spiked online.
Welcome to both of you. Joanna,
watching that video briefly there
and seeing what some women go
through every day, particularly the
more menacing moments as we saw just
at the end, is that misogynist
behaviour in your opinion?
think that video did the rounds on
YouTube and went viral on social
media last year but it has been very
thoroughly debunked by a number of
people who suggest that, well,
questioned the areas of New York,
why were those areas targeted? If
you walk around with a camera,
making eye contact with people,
looking for a particular response,
then you are likely to find it. I
think the problem is nowadays, we
throw around statistics like 85% of
women have experienced sexual
harassment, but when sexual
harassment is defined so broadly as
to include winking and whistling,
the real surprise is why so few
women have experienced sexual
harassment, if winking and whistling
our sexual harassment, my surprise
is that it's not 100% of women but I
don't think winking and whistling
our sexual harassment and I don't
think this is something that really
needs police time and attention
spent on it.
Melody, what do you say
first two Joanna articulating beside
it is too broad a spectrum to
include some of the things she has
said like winking.
Well, I tried to
not trivialise this as just being a
winking or wolf whistling issue and
actually, it is much broader and it
is about the continuous backdrop of
harassment that women experience
every single day and it is, you
know, going from very young girls,
in their school uniforms, right
through the spectrum to adult women
and receiving unwanted attention
that is intimidating, that is
off-putting, and that puts us
socially at a disadvantage. We are
targeted because of our sex. That is
when, and we have seen some success
around the country, Nottinghamshire
Police divine misogyny as a hate
crime and it has encourage more
women to come forward -- define
misogyny. It has led to convictions
of people who have been identified
through the process to have gone on
to commit more serious crimes
The thing is, isn't
this now in 2018 an opportunity to
set the reset button, to get the law
to keep up with what we now deem
acceptable standards of behaviour by
men towards women.
I think we are
pressing the reset button but to me,
we are pressing it in a way which is
entirely detrimental to women
because to me, this proposal is
incredibly insulting to women. It
suggests women are so fragile and
vulnerable that they can't cope with
walking down the street.
they have to put up with endless
wolf whistling and catcalling or
people shouting at you in the
street, men saying, "Hello,
A lot of this is about
human interaction and women can cope
with interactions are women, bizarre
though it may seem to people sitting
here, some women don't find it
wanted. Some women do actually
enjoyed engaging with people and
have no problem with it
have no problem with it whatsoever.
The danger is when we start talking
about people, children in school
uniform, girls in school uniform, we
reduce all adult women to that
status. I don't want the police
protecting me on the street from
wolf whistles and catcalls. I am
more than capable of being able to
protect myself. This is incredibly
In that sense, do we
really need legislation to deal with
this? There are laws already in
place, we have a hate crime laws and
laws against harassment. We are
talking about what one might
describe, and Joanna has said, as
the more trivial end of what is
I completely understand
the side of the argument Joanna is
putting across, however, it is
something that happens on such a
ritualistic, regular basis and when
it comes to the other hate crimes
that we already have, very often,
these can be like sexual issues, so
people could be targeted because
they are a Muslim woman, or because
they are a black woman. To enforce
it and make sure it is properly
dealt with, the police have said
they don't object to it, it does not
take up any additional resources
from elsewhere, that they are very
happy to incorporate it into the
work they are already doing to
better protect women.
I think you
have had to have led a very
privileged life to think that is the
best use of police time. You've
clearly never been mugged or
That's very... I'm not
assuming that. This is the problem,
I suppose, with the line of the
debate that has largely been taken
out of context. This is about
fostering a real change in our
culture and there's... The chair of
the sex determination review that I
undertook said that the laws set our
cultural norms and behaviours.
that the point?
Exactly, that is the
point and it is an incredibly
illiberal change which is about
policing personal behaviour,
monitoring interactions between
I really don't understand
why men think that is acceptable.
don't think it is just meant, I
think lots of women would object to
this law as well.
Would you object
to a law like this?
It is clearly
bad behaviour and I disagree in so
far as it is sexist and it should
not be tolerated. There is a
spectrum and I think you have to be
proportionate and you know, some of
the things that we see, men taking
pictures of women up their skirts
and things absolutely should be
banned. Catcalling and wolf
whistling, I think we do need,
within the bounds of the existing
law, actually, to treat them firmly
and more strongly than we are at the
moment but I think there is a
cultural norm. If you say it is OK,
people continue doing it but if more
people say it is absolutely
disgraceful, it is unacceptable and
you can't behave in that way, that
in itself starts to shift the
But what does it say,
as Joanna said earlier, that
actually you are going to in some
way change interaction between men
and women, that that is how
relationships, not with wolf
whistling and catcalling but if you
interfere at a sort of legal level
to that extent, it will make it
difficult for Newman who -- normal
human relations to continue?
really doesn't, though, does it come
to treat someone with dignity and
respect in a way, -- in the way a
man would treat another man, to be
that a woman, I don't think it
redefines the relationships at all.
The idea that men are completely
unable to cope with doing it at that
level is insulting to them.
problem is, everybody has a
different idea of what dignity and
respect means. I mean, I speak to
women who will say to me in private,
I wouldn't want this to be known
publicly but if somebody wolf
whistled at me, it puts a spring in
my step and a smile on my face.
should that be the reason and the
bases for not changing the law where
more women may feel intimidated by
it? Carriage Mackreth but how do we
know more women feel intimidated by
it? These are very subjective things
and why should we be so illiberal
that we are going to outlaw all
kinds of human fractions. I will
leave it there. Thank you for
You'd think the former Ukip leader
Henry Bolton would want a bit
of a rest after being dropped
as party leader,
but not a bit of it.
He's just announced he's
set up a new political
party called One Nation.
Writing on the party's website,
Mr Bolton states that there
is an urgent need for a party
"dedicated to the full
independence of the UK
in all areas of law,
government and public
Ukip had been seen,
until the EU referendum,
been seen as just such a party" -
that repetition is the website's
mistake - but the former Ukip leader
says "it has lost much
of its influence and ability
to shape national events."
He goes on to claim One Nation
is "a party that considers the best
solution must be applied,
no matter whether that solution
might be traditionally
considered as a socialist,
liberal or conservative solution.
The best solution is
the best solution."
Henry Bolton joins us now.
What does that mean?
whatever the problem is, you define
it well and you define or develop
the best solution.
Is that the best
you could come up with for your new
But is there anyone out there
who would not like the best
solution? Do we apply political
doctrine or dogma to the problem? I
think times are moving on and the
old Victorian approach to the left,
right, centre of politics, based on
the class system is probably not
appropriate any longer.
Are you a
glutton for punishment?
People would say you are mad, you've
just been ousted as the leader of
one party and here you are, trying
to start another.
I was trying to
professionalise Ukip and take it to
a position where it would be able to
move through Brexit and beyond and
shape the trajectory of the UK.
I did, absolutely. I'd
take that on the chin, the party
didn't want to reform in that way
and they rejected the draft changes
to the Constitution. I think the
party is not in a very good place at
But he wrote in your
statement that I just read out that
Ukip had once been seen as the party
that would give that change and a
proper Brexit, you are the leaders
and you are the one responsible for
it not happening.
I was trying to
reform it so it could be
constructive again. If we beat back
the referendum, the campaign was
highly effective and Ukip was
fundamental in that.
You were not
the leader then.
I wasn't but after
the referendum, I think the party
dropped the ball and allowed
factions to involve within the party
-- factions to evolve. Its finances
were undermined by what I would call
mismanagement or a lack of
management. They are in a bad place
now. Whether they can influence
national events now, I would
Although you were not
leader with these things happen so
surely you have something to blame?
Not when these things happen, the
party has been losing members for a
very long time before I became
leader and I was trying to reform
and change things.
How many members
have you got in the new party?
the moment, we're not taking
members, I was making a statement
the party was going to be formed
although it is not yet registered
with the Electoral Commission.
you going to do that?
happening at the moment so it will
take another few weeks.
moment, it's just you?
I have a team
to put in place infrastructure
beforehand, there's no point going
out there with a party that has no
structure or constitution.
you define success?
First of all,
full independence from the European
Union, all areas of the law,
For the party I meant.
No, that would be a success and
also, a change to British politics,
the way we do politics, to bring the
laws back to the people and connect
Thank you for
Thanks to our guests.
Especially to you for being the
guest of the day.
And I'll be here at noon
tomorrow with all the big
political stories of the day.
Jo Coburn talks to Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation, about how Brexit will affect prices. She is also joined by Sir Malcolm Rifkind to look at the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal.